African Studies Seminar - Week 8

‘Towards a new polity in Sudan? Breaking the coup-transition cycle’

Hybrid event with Sudanese academics and activists

Convener: Prof Miles Larmer


people take to the street after the oct 2021 coup


Sudan’s revolution, although now less prominent on the global stage, marks its fourth year this December. The uprising against President Bashir’s thirty-year Islamic kleptocracy began in December 2018 in response to the latest rounds of economic austerity and the political tactics of repression central to their implementation. Since then, a civilian transnational government, usurped by a coup, has come and gone with little having changed by way of governance. Below the level of a political landscape marred by elite competition and international backing is a story of politics from below, with youth, women and marginalised ethnic communities renegotiating the terms of a collective Sudanese identity from within their new localised political institutions; 'the committees'. This seminar seeks to illuminate this latter project, asking if another Sudanese polity beyond the historical coup-transition is possible.


This event will take hybrid form, with speakers in both Oxford and Khartoum contributing to the discussion.



kholood khair


Kholood Khair

Kholood Khair is the founding director at Confluence Advisory, a policy ‘think and do’ tank based in Khartoum, Sudan. She is a policy and political analyst, current events commentator and radio broadcaster. Kholood will provide an overview of the current situation in Sudan and moderate the speakers and the seminar.


raga makawi


Raga Makawi

Raga Makawi is an MSc student at the African Studies Centre, who is writing her thesis on the role of knowledge production and dissemination in shaping political legitimacy. She traces the revolution’s prominent narratives through their representative institutions to gauge how power is reconstituted away from the state. In this seminar, she is reflecting on that theme in the larger debate around political settlements, a new one already in the making.


khalid musataf madani


Dr. Khalid Mustafa

Dr. Khalid Mustafa Medani is Associate Professor of Political Science and Islamic Studies where he is also Chair of the African Studies Program at McGill University, and the author of He is author of ‘Black Markets and Militants: Informal Networks in the Middle East and Africa’ (Cambridge University Press, 2021).

Dr. Mustafa will examine the underlying causes and consequences of the popular uprising of 2018 and 2019, the key determinants that resulted in its success, the factors that led up to the recent military coup, and the prospects for the resumption of a transition to a civilian democracy in the context of the ongoing popular protests.


ahmed ismat


Ahmed Ismat

Ahmed Ismat is a member of the Khartoum South Resistance Committees and the official spokesperson of the coordination committees of Khartoum city.

He will introduce the work the committees are doing in leading on a new political project from below through an overview of the integrated charter; what it represents as a bill of rights and popular expression of will, how is it being consolidated and approved and why the process has been fraught with many obstacles.


sudanese women participate in open warfare between unarmed civilans and militas in the streets of khartoum



Teams link - please click here

This presentation will be livestreamed on Teams, but it will not be possible for online attendees to participate in the discussion.